32 Vice pres­i­dent of clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions and trans­for­ma­tion Com­mon­wealth Care Al­liance

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

IYAH ROMM STARTED mak­ing his im­pact on the health­care in­dus­try soon af­ter he dropped out of med­i­cal school.

Af­ter fall­ing down a flight of stairs in his early 20s, Romm suf­fered from vis­ual im­pair­ment and strug­gled to get a di­ag­no­sis. From the view­point of a pa­tient, he saw that even a per­son of rel­a­tive priv­i­lege could have dif­fi­culty get­ting needed care.

“I re­al­ized we were hav­ing all the wrong con­ver­sa­tions,” he said.

He con­cen­trated on health pol­icy when study­ing for his bi­ol­ogy de­gree, and af­ter de­cid­ing he wasn’t go­ing to get a med­i­cal de­gree, turned his fo­cus to public health.

He started work­ing on health pol­icy is­sues at the Mas­sachusetts De­part­ment of Public Health and even­tu­ally be­came the first direc­tor of care de­liv­ery in­no­va­tion and in­vest­ment at the Health Pol­icy Com­mis­sion.

Af­ter seven years in govern­ment, he moved to the Com­mon­wealth Care Al­liance, a not-for-profit health plan where he over­sees care for about 18,000 mem­bers who are du­ally el­i­gi­ble for Medi­care and Med­i­caid. His goal is to cre­ate a care de­liv­ery model that truly in­te­grates fi­nance and de­liv­ery and can be scaled and used by other or­ga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try. He wants it to be pa­tient-cen­tered and light on bu­reau­cracy.

“It starts by chang­ing the cul­ture for providers and show­ing the im­por­tance of pa­tient is­sues like hous­ing, em­ploy­ment and child care,” he said.

Romm said he wants to help shift the lex­i­con and change at­ti­tudes about car­ing for pa­tient pop­u­la­tions with com­plex needs. His goal is to make a dif­fer­ence in health­care de­liv­ery through small and large changes.

“At the end of the day, if I’m hav­ing im­pact I’m happy,” he said. “And if I’m not, I look for the next thing to do.”

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